Baking | Christmas Fruit Cake with Garam Masala …. Joyeux Noel 2012

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Christmas CakeChristmas Fruit Cake with Garam Masala ... anticipated, enjoyed, relished. December is never complete without this quintessential favourite, yet it nearly didn’t ‘happen’ this year. Yet for some reason the joy of the season, the light headed feeling, the warmth is missing. The heart feels heavy with the mindless violence that seems to raise its ugly head right across the world … be it New Delhi or New England.

Christmas CakeThe restlessness was getting overwhelming. Yesterday I needed to get into the kitchen, grab a dose of baking therapy. I have not baked for the past week. The insensitivity of the grotesque attack on the 23 year old girl in New Delhi has completely shattered us. The heart breaks that someone should have been subject to such animal behaviour.

Christmas WreathYet the strength of the human spirit of the victim is unbelievable. She has returned from near dead to prove just how strong a woman can be, still fighting death every passing minute. The tale of this strong young lady will go down in the history of India.

Christmas Wreath Yesterday I baked with her in my mind. I also gave the teen some ferns and tangerines from the garden to make me a wreath. With a little help from her brother, and none from the dog, she made me a pretty one! She managed to get Coco to wear a Santa hat too …

Coco SantaIt’s a simple fruit cake, one which shows up across the globe around this time. Often referred to as Christmas Cake, there are millions of recipes for fruit cake, in some regions every family hanging on to their own traditional recipe. Mine is a twist to our family recipe.

Candied peel

My Christmas Fruit Cake with Garam Masala has evolved from a traditional recipe handed down from my mother. Hers was the Garam Masala Christmas Cake. The one I baked this year follows the same basics of garam masala and orange juice to soak the fruit {overnight or for a few days/weeks}, some brandy thrown in if you like. I also continue to use a caramel coffee syrup to lend colour and deep flavour to the cake.

Coffee Caramel SauceEverything was done in a hurry as usual. No planning other than soaking a bunch of dry fruits and nuts the night before. I had plenty of bright oranges on hand, so decided to make candied orange peel. A recipe on Use Real Butter has stayed in my head forever.

Candied peelThe effect of the colour itself was therapeutic, mood uplifting and before I knew it I was soaking fruit in the orange juice. I threw in 3 tbsps of garam masala. Don’t worry, it doesn’t end up too strong. Nor does it make your cake smell like curry! It is beautiful. If you do have time, make your own.

Christmas CakeIt adds deep flavours of cinnamon, spice and all things nice; reminds me of gently mulled wine. Ties the season in nicely, warm and comforting in a deeply pacifying sort of a way.

Christmas Cake The daughter hates nuts, and the son hates raisins and fruit. Their taste buds always unite for Christmas Cake … right down to the last crumb. She says its all ‘mine‘, while he bitterly complains to me, naive enough to believe her… and life goes on!

Christmas Cake

Joy, Peace, Warmth, safety this holiday season dear readers.

Thank you for stopping by.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Peace & Joy this Christmas … and Garam Masala Fruit Cake

“Christmas Shopping: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find one gift that you didn’t have to dust, that had to be used right away, that was practical, fit everyone, was personal and would be remembered for a long time? I penciled in “Gift certificate for a flu shot.”
Erma Bombeck

Christmas Fruit CakeChristmas Fruit Cake with homemade marzipan toppingsWish you all A Merry Christmas,
May the Joys of the season
Fill your heart with goodwill and cheer.
May the chimes of Christmas glory
Add up more shine and spread
Smiles across the miles,
To-day & In the New Year.
Rosie Cash

Christmas Fruit Cake with homemade marzipan toppingsHave a wonderful festive season dear readers. I eventually got my fruit cakes baked. Did you? I even found time for some marzipan magic!!

~Happy Holidays!!~

Summary: An Indian twist to the traditional fruit cake. Garam masala adds to the warmth of the spices. The fruit marry well with flavours like garam masala, orange juice, brandy,caramel and lime juice. The coffee and caramel syrup give the cake a nice, deep hue!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2hrs 30minutes
Ingredients:

  • Garam Masala Fruit Cake
  • 1-1.25 kg mixed fruit,nuts,peel mincemeat {mincemeat recipe follows}
  • 400gm plain flour
  • 300gm unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200gm sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup caramel syrup {Made with 1/2 cup of sugar caramelised. Add some water and heat gently to liquefy. Measure and top up with water to make 3/4 cup liquid. Cool}
  • 2tsp instant coffee
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt {skip if using salted butter}
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Mincemeat or fruit mix, sans suet
  • 700gms raisins, chopped if desired
  • 200 currants
  • 100gms orange peel, chopped
  • 170gms almonds, chopped
  • 250gms cashewnuts, chopped
  • 100gms candied cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cherry liquor {or brandy}
  • 1/2 cup brandy {or rum}
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice {from 3 keenus/oranges}
  • Juice of 3-4 limes
  • Zest of 2 keenus/oranges
  • 4 tbsp garam masala
  • 2tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee

Method:

  1. Garam Masala Fruit Cake
  2. Toss the soaked mixed fruit in the flour well in a large bowl {I used a huge wok} so that the fruit is completely coated. Reserve.
    Stir coffee into caramel syrup. Reserve.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy, 2 minutes, add the eggs one by one and beat well again.
  4. Now add the caramel syrup and vanilla extract and beat again for a minute till well incorporated. The mixture may appear curdled but that’s fine. Add baking powder and whisk again.
  5. Turn this batter out over the mincemeat and stir well with spatula to blend uniformly.
  6. Turn into lined loaf pans/baking tins and bake at 140C until the top appears done when you touch it, about 1 hour for the loaf pans, and almost 2-2 1/4 hours for my 15 X 11 tin. {Do keep an eye on the top of the cake. My ovens ‘bake’ setting is just the lower level so the top doesn’t brown too quick. If you find the top browning too soon, please slip a foil loosely over the top about an hour and a half into baking.}
  7. Cool in tin, turn out and wrap in cling-film once cold. Allow to stand and mature in a cool dark place for a day or two, at least overnight. The longer it stands the better the flavours, but we never get that far in my fruit-cake loving household.
    Poke the top with a skewer and pour a few tbsps of brandy {or rum} over the top before wrapping the cake if you like. Makes the cake nice and moist.
  8. Sift icing sugar over the top if you like, and add some homemade marzipan toppings.
  9. !Mincemeat / fruitmince or fruit mix, sans suet
  10. Mix all the ingredients nicely and soak overnight in a cool place, or for 3-4 days. The longer you soak the fruit, the more mature the flavour. I soaked mine for 3 days. {You can substitute the alcohol with an equal amount of orange juice too}
  11. If you find the fruits are looking dry, add about 1/2 cup of brandy/rum/orange juice and toss again. Leave for a few hours for the juices to get absorbed.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Holiday Baking| Christmas Fruit Mince Pies …

“Marge, it’s 3 AM. Shouldn’t you be baking?”
Homer Simpson

Christmas Mince PiesDid you make your own fruit mincemeat this year? I just about did, and far too late in the month IMHO. I procrastinated forever; then noticed it was the 18th of December and hit the panic button. It was now or never since it needs a few days to soak the fruit. I eventually got it done, also getting distracted along the way …  and suddenly, it was time for a batch of Christmas Fruit Mince Pies!Fruitmince sans suetChristmas Mince PiesDay 3 yesterday and the soaked fruit was looking plump, good and shiny. I should have waited to turn the whole batch into my Garam Masala Christmas Cake, but I couldn’t resist making some little mince pies! {I write this post as my fruit cakes finally bake in the oven!}Baking goodiesChristmas Mince PiesMy sister sent me a load of baking goodies with the BIL who flew in from the US, much like Santa who got here before time. Petit tins of all sizes, something that I love, vanilla beans, sprinkles, a dessert cookie baking tray, a Lindzer cookie cutter, a ‘sack‘ of baking chocolate chips … loads more!Christmas Mince PiesDespite telling her that I hardly bake ‘fancy‘ {read tedious} cookies any more, I pulled out the Lindzer set to make a batch of Toasted Walnut Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Filling. Typically, my mind wandered in the opposite direction, and  I whizzed some pâte sucrée in the Thermomix. Soon the dough was being rolled and the Lindzer cookie cutters were being used to make toppings for petit fruitmince pies!Christmas Mince PiesChristmas Mince PiesIts dangerous to have a big bowl of fruit soaking on the counter. Hungry mouths on the prowl get attracted to it, so I hid it … but couldn’t get it it out of my head! Yesterday I figured I could nick some for a before Christmas cake treat. These little pies are fun to make; quick too. I love using the snowflake cutters sweet Nic @ Cherrapeno gave me … so festive!Christmas Mince PiesChristmas Mince Pies Use your favourite pâte sucrée / sweet pastry dough or use the one below. This works a classic 2:1 ratio of flour and butter. As with pie/pastry dough, keep handling/kneading to an absolute minimum. That way you’ll have a nice light, crisp pastry once baked. If you like, you can add some apple to the filling, like Alli did in her Christmas Chocolate & Fruit Mince Pies. Nice!!Christmas Mince Pies

Christmas Fruit Mince Pies

51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24 petit pies

Christmas Fruit Mince Pies

The fruitmince pies get made really fast and make for handsome bites, crisp too. Use your favourite pâte sucrée / sweet pastry dough or use the one below.

Ingredients

1 portion Pâte Sucrée {recipe follows}
1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit mincemeat {recipe follows}

1/2 egg white {or yolk for egg wash}

Vanilla sugar for sprinkling

Pâte Sucrée / Sweet Pastry

200gm all purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

pinch of salt

100gm chilled butter, cubed

1 egg, lightly whisked with fork

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2tbsp chilled water {to bind if required}

Mincemeat or fruit mix, sans suet {you will need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of this}

700gms raisins, chopped if desired

200 currants

100gms orange peel, chopped

170gms almonds, chopped

250gms cashewnuts, chopped

100gms candied cherries, chopped

1/4 cup Cherry liquor/brandy

1/2 cup rum {or brandy}

3/4 cup fresh orange juice {from 3 keenus/oranges}

Juice of 3-4 limes

Zest of 2 keenus/oranges

4 tbsp garam masala

Instructions

    Pâte Sucrée / Sweet Pastry
  1. Place the flour, salt, scraped vanilla beans and sugar in bowl of processor and blend briefly. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 5 seconds}
  2. Add chilled butter and process until you get a breadcrumb like mix. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 6-7 seconds}
  3. With the machine running, add the egg and process till it the dough begins to come together. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 7-8 seconds}
  4. If you pinch the dough with your fingertips it should stick together. If not add a tbsp of chilled water and process.
  5. Turn dough onto work surface and pat together into a firm ball. Do not knead / overprocess. Let it rest 10-20 minutes {I left it on the counter as its very cold here. If the temperature is warm, rest the dough in the fridge}.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. On a very lightly floured surface, take a quarter of the dough and roll it out thin. Cut out 12 circles with a fluted cookie cutter and place in tart tray. Repeat with next portion of dough.
  8. Fill each base with a heaped tsp of mincemeat.
  9. Now cut out 24 'toppers' from the remaining dough {or a combination of fluted cut-out tops, stars, snowflakes etc} and place over fruit, pressing down slightly.
  10. Brush the tops with a beaten egg white {or egg yolk}, sprinkle with vanilla sugar and bake for 15-18 minutes until light golden brown.
  11. Leave in tray for 1-2 minutes, remove to rack and cool.
  12. Mincemeat / fruitmince or fruit mix, sans suet
  13. Mix all the ingredients nicely and soak overnight in a cool place, or for 3-4 days. The longer you soak the fruit, the more mature the flavour. I soaked mine for 3 days. {You can substitute the alcohol with an equal amount of orange juice too}
http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2011/12/holiday-baking-christmas-fruit-mince-pies.html

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...